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Will legislators legalize recreational marijuana in New Jersey?

It might be hard to believe but a New Jersey resident gets arrested every 22 minutes -- on average -- for a marijuana crime. However, on May 15, legislators introduced a new bill that could make recreational marijuana legal if lawmakers pass it.

The bill would serve to regulate, tax and legalize marijuana for recreational purposes. It would also make New Jersey one of eight other states that have legalized the drug. One of the bill's other motives is to equalize the treatment of the races by the criminal justice system.

If the drug is legalized, it would bring up questions that New Jersey universities would need to answer as to the policies they apply to marijuana use. According to the Assistant Vice President for Communications at Princeton University, the university will wait until the law is actually passed before it decides on how it will address the matter. However, some universities in states where marijuana has been legalized have chosen to prohibit the drug on their campuses.

As for the specifics of the legislation, marijuana users would be permitted to carry as much as an ounce of marijuana plant matter, 16 ounces of solid form marijuana products, 72 ounces of liquid marijuana and seven grams of concentrated marijuana. The bill, however, does not permit people to grow a personal quantity of marijuana in their homes.

Even though the legalization of recreational marijuana is currently being considered by New Jersey legislators, the drug remains illegal and stiff criminal penalties apply to its possession and sale. If you've been accused of marijuana-related crimes, you may want to discuss your charges with a criminal defense attorney to determine your most appropriate course of action to take in response to the charges.

Source: The Daily Princetonian, "What happens if marijuana is legalized in New Jersey?," Jeff Zymeri and Sarah Warman Hirschfield, June 01, 2017

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